We tell ourselves that “there are too many musics in the world, too many annals of sonic splendour, too many fresh faces ready to pile all the more atop the peak and so little, so very, very little time to manage it all.”
An inarguable truth. An impossible excuse.
When we check ourselves we know the real truth of it: that there are too many welcome distractions and that we ourselves are too willing to invest in short term reward to even attempt conquering but a small slice of the hardship. Fingers can be pointed wherever they please but until we turn them on ourselves this precious little piece of the resume will remain as nothing more than a cheap conversational anchor in smokers’ courtyards and vocational applications; “Yeah I run this blog called Bite the Belt and we – this 8-person strong team – have all these dreams and drive and plans and we’re on the up, check us out!”… nothing but a string of wind-blown, paper-thin, plastic pipe-dreams all wafting from the face of a well practised bullshitter. Don’t believe the waning hype; Bite the Belt has officially manifested itself into a social media post-driven ghost ship, a castle with flags and crests all singing of musical celebration though a courtyard desolate of bustle and noise, its foundations of soup slowly giving beneath the depleting desire to even touch up its failing structure – bricks of sawdust and custard mortar – and despite its noticeable loss of visitors there are still sad, lonely souls wondering the empty halls gazing at dust gathered posts of 2 years past, thinking; “just what happened to this place?”
“Just what happened to this place?” indeed.
It wouldn’t be the first time a small and humble but actively growing entity has just given up and died. It’s been happening since the dawn of time. Survival of the fittest. And BtB is by no means fit – its barely even standing.
3 years we’ve been live on digital air. 3 years we’ve been talking about that “one day” when we’re all locked into the graft. 3 years we’ve been dreaming of an office filled with us fast friends hammering keys, pumping sounds and championing the highest reaches of music. 3 years we’ve been writing “Apologies for the dead air! We promise, though, that we’re back and better than ever and we won’t do it again!” and for 3 years we’ve been echoing those apologies and breaking those promises time and time again.
THIS IS NOT A SHUT DOWN
This is simply a reality-check.
The bad news is that we’re lazy. We have dreams without drive, that sense of self-importance, the naive thought process that deems a love for music combined with a strong enough literary & technology grasp as unquestionably enough to place us, with as little effort as possible, comfortably at the top. Unreasonable? More than certainly.
The good news is that we’re aware. We’re done with selling ourselves the lie. We’re not driven enough, not solid enough, to pump out the content as the popular market demands. We’re too lazy to commit to writing personal reviews every evening and we’re too proud to copy-and-paste the PR agents’ spiel. Though “well done for admitting your lack of substance boys!” isn’t what I’m angling for here. Not at all. I’m simply tired of the song and dance.
To conquer any problem the first and most crucial step is to admit that, yes, there is a problem. “I’m so sorry [insert the offended]. I won’t do it again.” simply isn’t enough.
We’ve all heard it. We’ve all said it. We all know what it means; a witches brew of unstable feelings curling out of pursed lips like a ribbon-wrapped turd. Everyone wants to smell the roses but the feeling’s always of shit-tainted dread; another notch on the beating stick – reset the clock – 0 days without incident.
We have a problem here at Bite the Belt and the problem is drive. We can’t promise you what we can’t deliver and we simply can’t deliver regular content. We’re just not grown up enough. The honest truth of it is that we most likely will disappear from the literary annals, again – and on multiple occasions, at that – but none the less, you, for whatever reasons, are still here. And that means more to us than any manifestation of self-pity and analysis ever will. In spite of our inability to act and behave as a credible source of musical content you, the reader, the fan, the browsing soul of the universe, are still here.
And for that, a million x ten and then some, thank you. Thank you so much like you wouldn’t believe, honestly.
And as much as it’s welcoming to see people still treading our dusty halls, there’s a little more we can take from it than just affirmation of worth. If it’s by chance that you’re here then we’re still somewhere in the search engine results. If its by name then we’re still being talked about. If it’s by association then we still have friends.
So we’re not just a collection of okay articles drifting atop a cloud of loose hopes and naive dreams, we’re actually still a thing, a recognised thing, by not just ourselves. In perfect stirring essence:
WE’RE NOT DEAD YET!
My friends, we are sorry. Our reality is not what we propose and it is time to literally Bite the leathery old Belt and return to the good stuff – the honesty that birthed this place – I think in the early days of recognition we started to concern ourselves with how to present ourselves, how to engage and reach our audience, how to expand and how to compete, how to walk, how to talk and how to breathe and our aspirations and illusions combined with the cold reality of the 9-5 overwhelmed us. When really we should simply be focussing on how to provide good content, that celebrates music, without overburdening ourselves. We are young, presumptuous, naive and stupid and I’m fairly confident that we always will be – it’s worked so far –
– I thank you for continuing to support us as such.
I don’t know how we’re going to resolve these inner problems and I don’t know if we’ll ever be any more than what we are now. But what I do know is this: we’re not dead yet. We are all, friends, writers and fans, still here, together, unto whatever end.
All my love,
Josh – Founder of Bite the Belt